Well, it must be the end of the world because The Secret World just went free to play. Buy once, play forever with no subscription. That was a shock. It’s quite possibly a good move, but f2p always makes me nervous in story-driven, content-rich games such as this one.
Unlike Star Wars, it sounds as they are going to be reasonable and ungreedy in the conversion. Joel Bylos was quoted as saying “First and foremost, I need to represent what I feel is the best route for the players, both current and future. I feel like the business model we have landed upon is a great platform for anybody even remotely interested in the game. I don’t want to treat *anybody* who plays The Secret World as a second class citizen and I think that this business model allows everyone to play the game without any sort of restriction.” Nicely said – and that should relieve many of the worries that fans of the game would have had about it going f2p (especially after all of the bad feeling towards Bioware/EA over SWTOR).
I could be wrong, but I honestly don’t get the impression that this is a panic move designed to save a failing game. It seems well-reasoned and timed with the sense of black humour that permeates the game and its marketing (“We’ll all be dead soon when the world ends on the 21st, so we’re not going to rip players off.”) Selling content packs has done well in other MMOs, and as long as Funcom doesn’t fill the cash shop with P2W items or beat f2p players into subscribing (which I don’t think they will be), they should do quite well.
So, if you haven’t yet tried The Secret World, you should. It’s a solid game with a great storyline, and also some of the best gaming moments I’ve ever had. (Black House. That’s all I’ll say. Being dead in there genuinely scared the hell out of me.)
Sub and membership information here, on the Funcom site: Subscription No Longer Required!